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September 29, 2022

Sobrato’s Katherine Lim a diving sensation

As the dozens of athletes took turns diving in the Blossom Valley League Finals at Santa Teresa High on April 27, the level of skill ranged from beginner to advanced. 

Some divers landed awkwardly in the water, while others looked to work on the basics or improve their technique. A handful, like Sobrato High sophomore Katherine Nicole Lim, stood out because of their ability to control their bodies in such a way that when they hit the water, it barely created a ripple.  

Lim finished third behind Prospect’s Joey Lee and Leland’s Fiora Beratahani, as the three all placed in the top five in last year’s Central Coast Section Championships. The trio also happen to be friends as they all compete for the same Santa Clara Diving Club. 

“I think I did really well compared to most of my meets,” Lim said. “I felt really relaxed and was having a lot of fun.”

Including warm-ups, Lim took over 100 dives as warm-ups started at noon and the actual competition didn’t end until after 5pm. The lengthy meet will prepare Lim well for the upcoming CCS Championships, which takes place May 6-7 at the Santa Clara International Swim Center. 

As a freshman last year, Lim finished in fifth place in the CCS Championships, a spot above her since graduated sister, KellyAnn, who is now diving at Cal Poly. 

“Last year at CCS was definitely a great experience because I got to dive with my sister and cousin,” she said. “I was able to reach out to them and we supported each other. I was happy in how I did, but I was also very happy my sister was able to do good.”

Still just 15 years old, Lim has a goal to finish in the top five again—three of the four divers who finished ahead of Lim last year returned this season—and possibly the top three. She also wants to earn All American recognition this season. 

“In CCS this year, I just want to stay relaxed so I can dive to the best of my ability,” Lim said. “I want to stay calm because it relaxes and helps me finish my drive.”

In the BVAL Finals, Lim said one of her favorite dives was a front 1 ½, because she was able to get tremendous air on the takeoff position before getting into a great flight position. During the club season, Lim also does 3 meter springboard diving and 10 meter platform diving. 

In comparison, each high school competition is off a 1 meter springboard. Lim is strongest in the 1- and 3-meter springboards, though she finds the 10 meter platform nearly as fun. Lim comes from a family of divers. In addition to KellyAnn, Lim has two older cousins—Mitty High graduates Adam and Tyler Wesson—who are diving in college. 

Tyler is a junior at Cal and Adam a freshman at Harvard. Adam is perhaps the most accomplished diver in CCS history, winning the championship event three times, with a fourth opportunity in 2020 taken away because of Covid. 

Tyler had a runner-up CCS finish to Adam in the 2018 Championships. Lim started diving at 7 or 8 as she watched her cousins, then decided to take things up a notch three to four years ago. 

“It started as a fun sport and is still very fun, but I got to a point where I wanted to get really competitive,” she said. 

Lim earned a berth to Junior Olympic Nationals in 2021, her biggest accomplishment so far in a burgeoning diving career. She practices six days a week, taking only Saturdays off. The Santa Clara Diving Club is one of the best in the Bay Area and Lim said practicing with a wide range of age groups has helped her grow and mature. 

“I’m diving with people of all different ages,” she said. “I’m younger than a lot of them and I’ve kind of matured quickly because I’ve been competing with older kids.”

In the BVAL Finals, Lim walked over to her mom at poolside after each of her dives. Her mom takes video and Lim analyzes her dives and sees what she did correctly and what she could improve upon. 

She then sits down, covers herself in a towel to stay warm before getting back in line after a couple of minutes. With a tiny towel, or “shammy” in hand, Lim makes sure she stays warm and dry so she can optimize her dives.

“Using shammys makes it easier when you’re in the tuck or pike,” she said. “It really helps your overall dive.”

After each dive, Lim looks at the judges, and her expression doesn’t change much whether it’s one of her best scores or an average one. She neither gets too high nor too low, but has a routine and focuses on the process to repeat over and over. 

It’s a routine that has carried her to being one of the best divers in the CCS.

Diving isn’t for the faint of heart. That’s what makes Katherine Lim a unique talent. Photo from the Lim family.
Katherine Lim comes from a family of divers, but she’s looking to make her own mark. Photo from Lim family.

Sports editor Emanuel Lee can be reached at [email protected]

Emanuel Lee
Sports Editor of the Gilroy Dispatch, Hollister Free Lance and Morgan Hill Times. PR of 3:13.40 at the 2019 CIM. Hebrews 12:1.

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